Monday, 22 November 2010

You win some you lose some

The start of the teaching week again, with Mondays being my busiest day at school. And today has been a mixed bag really. The good with the ...less good (the word bad just seems too negative!).

For once I wasn't dashing to school in order to make it on time, I actually arrived 20 mins early today! (Particularly impressive being that my first class was at 8am) and even had time for a quick cuppa before I left! Obviously had to wait for the world and its sister to be done printing and photocopying things in the staff room before I could actually materialise anything for my lesson. France must be behind the times in the technology department. Maybe I've never seen my school's hi-tech computer lab, but there are 2 PCs in the staff room which seem to be the only source of any kind of word processing or internet research. Seems bizarre to me. The first lesson was...fine. You can't expect too much of teenagers at 8am! But they were talkative enough when they actually understood and it didn't drag painfully. I later received an email from this class' teacher telling me I must have done a fantastic job and how thrilled the kids were with the lesson! Talk about being 'discreet with their enjoyment' (as another teaching of mine keeps phrasing it)! But it does make me happy to hear that some of the kids actually enjoy the hour they are forced to spend with me!

The rest of my classes did not really follow suit though. In one, the students just honestly did not understand a word I was saying. I had to break down the sentences for them. They were sweet enough, but so quiet. I must have just spoken at them for about 90% of the lesson. In another couple of lessons the students were not well-behaved. This is not really something I've encountered in my school before! Just continuous chatting from a minority, but neither me nor the students who are actually interested can hear a thing. Aaaand it's really irritating! Two girls laughed into their scarved throughout one lesson. And I'm pretty aware they were laughing at me. Apparently my teacher kept these students back for this week so as not to shock me in my first week teaching! However, I'm not sure they will all be coming again. I feel I need to improve my french if only for classroom management. They don't understand when you tell them off in English and if you were to make an error when reprimanding in French then I feel your statement loses all authority! A catch 22, if you will! These unruly classes were not helped by the fact that i had only tiny stumps of chalk left to write with and forgot to bring mine. Schoolboy error! And one which I will not be repeating tomorrow!

So, on my journey home from school after my worst lesson of the day I was feeling a little deflated. (And it is now dark at 5.30pm! When did this happen?!). I did a bit of food shopping (compulsory) and popped in to the bakers to buy my favourite bread and a yummy cake to cheer myself up. I'm glad I did now, as I bumped into one of my teachers in there who offered to give me a lift to school tomorrow! I am very grateful of this, being that it's another 8am start for me.

As well as this, I also got my confused mess of a timetable sorted our today, finally! Last night I was trying to sort the pupils for my 2de classes. Unsuccessfully. I explained this to Nathalie today, who seemed confused. Until she discovered that none of the teachers have bothered to give me a list of who I should be expecting in my classes and when. Which they have now (nearly) all done! Thank god. Clearly this confusion was not my doing then!

I have also bought an advent calendar, yippee! A bit premature, I know. But you can never be too early with an advert calendar! Years of experience has told me this, with my mother walking past Cadbury ones for weeks to find that, come November 30th, there's only Thomas the Tank ones to be had! (Not that us kiddies don't LOVE Kraft chocolate though Mum...). To be fair, this one isn't Cadbury either, but I worked with what I had!

Aaaand on top of these delights....A) Today I received my Erasmus money! Yayyyyy. Okay okay, so most some of it will be paying off my overdraft but still, it's free money! B) I skyped the mother today, which is always delightful and C) I am very excited to start Christmas shopping (if anyone will give me their list....). Even if it is online Christmas shopping. And even if that does involve adding a few things for myself to the 'virtual basket'. (Read the above points A and C. For reference, I see no link between large overdraft and shopping for myself. I don't know what you're talking about.). This excitement over Christmas is not really in my nature...look what France has done to me! Excited for potentially visiting Lille Christmas market on Saturday though! And I am determined to visit Vimy at some point soon. I have just been informed it may snow this weekend though, which will scupper that. My main concern over this snow is that I am not footwear-prepared for such inclement weather.

That is all.
Love and all that fuss,

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